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Spain: 27 arrested in child pornography sweep

Publish Date: 17 Dec 2003

Ingles: Madrid, Dec 17 (EFE

Spanish police have arrested 27 people across the country who allegedly belonged to a child pornography ring and who traded images of toddlers and children below the age of five on the Internet, authorities said Wednesday.

Police detained the suspects in 18 provinces and 24 cities in what officials said was the largest such operation against child pornography ever carried out in Spain.

Last May, a special National Police squad known as the Technological Investigation Brigade first discovered Spanish-language Internet websites and chat rooms dedicated to swapping images of toddlers and children being sexually abused by adults.

In the subsequent investigation, police were able to identify the suspects allegedly involved in the ring.

According to authorities, of the 6,388 Internet files they viewed, more than 5,000 contained images of child pornography. Most of the images were of children apparently from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Police said the suspects would be charged with prostitution and child abuse. The contents of around 30 computers seized in the raids were being analyzed.

Internet providers and other businesses helped in the investigation which police officials said remained open. Further arrests were possible, they added.